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Women Taking Delivery of a New Ford Speedster and Touring Car at Laramie Auto Company

Today’s circa 1917 images take us to the City of Laramie, Wyoming, located in the southeastern portion of the State to Mr. Shoemaker’s Ford Garage, the Laramie Auto Company. The lead photo is one of three shots that exist of new Model “T” Ford cars being delivered to the owners. This picture shows an attractive woman decked out in a fur coat and hat with the Ford Garage’s dog in the seat behind the wheel of the car. This car is a Ford Model “T” chassis equipped with an aftermarket speedster body and splash aprons, pin-drive wire wheels and an accessory front radius rod brace.

The photograph below shows the Ford Agency’s storefront with a “Garage” sign above the door, a new Model “T’ touring car with wire wheels being delivered, a “Vacuum Cup” tire display in the left front window, and a center door sedan in the  showroom window on the right.

Tell us what you find of interest here or if you know more about the Garage in these images courtesy of the University of Wyoming.

15 responses to “Women Taking Delivery of a New Ford Speedster and Touring Car at Laramie Auto Company

    • Ford bodies were painted with black japan pumped out of a flexible tube into a nozzle and the rest of the sheet metal was dipped into japan – the result was a very smooth and brilliant paint job. The speedster body work was painted using a different method.

  1. David – A couple of tidbits from the Laramie Boomerang of April 1917 announcing that the Cauble Brothers Motor Car Company, holders of the Ford agency for the region and in the general garage business, had recently been sold to a pair of Lodgepole, Nebraska business men. Mr. A.F. Nugent and Mr. F.C. (Frank) Shumaker will continue to sell Ford cars under the name of Laramie Auto Company. Mr. Shumaker will be general manager. It stated that Mr. Shumaker has exceptionally bright prospects for the business and intends to anticipate every need of the autoist, carrying a full line of everything for automobiles. The photos seem to bare that out. Great story and photos!
    Bob

  2. Our local mechanic, who had kept marginal cars alive for Ruth for years, had a shop cat named Booger. After our wedding reception , we grabbed a bottle of champagne and stopped by the shop. I think Ruth’s wedding dress still has some grease stains 25 years later from where Booger rubbed against her legs.

  3. Interesting photographs; they both appear to be staged. These automobiles could not enter or exit the garage door at those angles.

    • David,

      Not sure if the “GARAGE” sign has neon lights. Enlarged it about 5 times and it appears not to have neon tubes.

      What could be the case, there may have been incandescent lamps inside the fixture and some type of opalescent glass for the light to illuminate through the letters in the sign.

      George Claude received the U. S. paten in 1915 for neon tube electrodes. If the sign does have neon lights, it is one of the earliest such installations in the U. S.

      AML

      • My exact same thought. In 1923, Georges Claude and his French company Claude Neon introduced neon gas signs to the United States by selling two to a Packard car dealership in Los Angeles.
        My guess is that is not neon since the 1917 date seems correct for the cars.

    • it appears that the showroom is on the right side of the building with wider white doors ; note more panels of glass in these doors that you can see thru the front window.

    • And well “staged” they are. Note the camera is carefully postioned to include the full Laramie Auto signage while also posing the autos to best advantage. And the happy new owners are looking at the camera. Given that cameras were not all that common at the time – and film wasn’t cheap – most photos were “staged.”

  4. Okay, so how do you survive in Laramie without a windshield. Do you just park that T in the Winter? Do wire wheels work better in mud or do they clog faster. 1917 Laramie must have been surrounded by mud in the Spring and after a big rain. But I guess with a lot of horses around you could be pulled out of almost anything.

    • Judging by that fur coat (beaver?) this may not have been her only motor. Given the inclusion of the garage pooch, perhps this is the wife of one of the owners?

  5. One thing that catches my eye in the second photo, is the sidelamps on the center-door sedan in the window. Sedans were not great sellers that early, and Ford put the full electric on the sedans as standard equipment about mid 1919 model year (early ’19 calendar year). From that point on, the sedans did not have the oil sidelamps from the factory. That means that sidelamps were only on the black era sedans for a bit over two years, and except where they have been added on later cars, are quite rare today. Open cars (runabouts and touring cars) did not get electric start as standard equipment until much later, so on those, the oil sidelamps on non-electric Ts continued to be common well into the mid ’20s.
    It is a bit tough to be certain, but the touring car in the second photo appears to have the later style unequal windshield hinges which were a change late in the 1917 model year. The wire wheels are interesting. Pre-1920 pictures of model Ts with wire wheels are fairly rare, on both factory bodies as well as speedsters. So both of these photos are very unusual. It probably says something about the sales approach of the company!
    One of my forum friends on the mtfca site is restoring a similar speedster. So I put a note and link there for him (and others) to see it here.
    It certainly is a fine example of a well built early speedster! I would love to see a photo of it with the top up.
    I often joke about wire wheels on earlier Ts. I think that there are more early model Ts today with wire wheels on them than there were before 1920. Another thing, About half the time, when I do run into an original photo of an earlier T with wire wheels? It is one car. The touring Edsel Ford drove cross country in 1915 to attend the Panama Pacific Exposition.
    Just me.
    Thank you David G! Wonderful pictures, again.

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